Crockpot Apricot Chicken – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Crockpot Apricot Chicken. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  The original recipe can be found over at Busy Cooks.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice. I make a point of NEVER SAYING NO to her recipe suggestions because I AM THE NICE ONE (don’t roll your eyes at me!), so even though I’m not crazy about apricots (which, I know, unAmerican, right?) and even though I was giving the idea of mixing French dressing and apricot preserves the side-eye, I thought that mayyyyybe I’d end up liking it anyway. Weirder things have happened, right? I figured that even if I didn’t like it, maybe Fred would, and then I could make him eat the leftovers while I ate cereal or pepperoni and cheese sticks (DO NOT JUDGE ME) for dinner.

If left to my own devices, Lucky Charms would be the menu for dinner every night. In case you were wondering.

So, your ingredients:

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Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, frozen. Dry onion soup mix, French salad dressing (alternately, you can use Russian dressing), apricot preserves, apple cider vinegar, basil (alternately you can use thyme. I’m not super crazy about thyme. And HELLO, I had no idea how many herbs and spices I just flat out don’t care for until we started this damn site. Parsley, I’m looking at you.)

Please note the packaged chicken. Yes, I have a freezer full of home-grown chicken, but Fred and I decided that all first-time recipes involving chicken will be made with store-bought chicken. If we like the recipe, then I am allowed to proceed to using home-grown chicken. We just don’t want to waste our home-grown chicken on recipes we might not like, you know?


The recipe calls for frozen chicken breasts, so I actually had to buy the chicken, which was unfrozen, and then stick it in the freezer the night before.

Put your frozen chicken in the crock pot.

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I had six chicken breasts (which is what the recipe called for), but once I got four of them in the crock pot, I decided to just stick with that instead of cramming another couple in there.

Mix all your other ingredients in a medium bowl and dump it over the frozen chicken. Like so:

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Then set your crockpot on low for 6 – 8 hours, and take a kitten break.

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That’s Hodor. He’s a 6 week old foster kitten who is a snuggly little guy and likes to make me worry by refusing to eat more than a few bites at a time. I’ve resolved this issue by repeatedly putting him in front of the food dish until the light goes on over his dumb little head (bless his heart!) and then he eats like crazy. Oy, kittens. Worrying about them is MY LIFE’S WORK.

I let my chicken cook for 6 hours – I like to err on the lower time when it comes to boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the crock pot, because ain’t nobody got time for no dry-ass chicken.

I didn’t take pictures of this part, but after I took the chicken out of the crock pot, I mixed 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with some water, stirred it into the sauce, turned the crock pot on high, and let it cook for about 15 minutes. It thickened nicely.

We ate ours over rice. You could also serve it over pasta or couscous (I don’t think I’ve ever had couscous, but I like saying it. Couscous! Couuuuuuscous!).

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The verdict? Dry. And I wasn’t crazy about the sauce. Was it because I really am no fan of apricots? Was it because mixing jam with French dressing and dry onion soup mix is just WEIRD? And would it have been less dry if I’d made all six chicken breasts, as the recipe decrees?

Fuck if I know. Alls I know is that I didn’t like it. I ate one chicken breast, but halfway through it I decided I wasn’t eating a second one. Fred disliked it less than I did – he actually ate it again the next night. I offered him the last one, and he didn’t want it.

The chickens gave it two beaks up, though. They’ll eat anything.


Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out this page (there’s also a link to that page up there under the banner) and follow the instructions to submit a recipe!


Nance’s Take:

Two things that must be said before I can tell you about this chicken.

1.  I was informed by my friend, Regan, that years ago her mother served me last week’s cake while I was at her house.  Well, damn.  I was just saying how I have never tasted anything like it and apparently I had! In my defense I will say that Pat (aka: Regan’s mom) was a foodie before anybody knew what a foodie was and I probably just thought it was one of her fancypants gourmet cakes.  And I probably didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to confirm my country bumpkin status.

2. It is well known around these parts that if I have a good week of cooking, the next week will surely go to shit. I really wasn’t sure what week I was on because I hadn’t really been doing any cooking around here. The lesson here?  I need to start writing down my shit so I know where I’m at in my life.  SHUT-UP.

Crockpot Apricot Chicken

Behold, giant frozen chicken breasts! I am so ready for this simple, yet fabulous, crockpot chicken. Seriously. I NEED this recipe to work because the night before I had Pizza Hut™ pizza and OHMYHELL, there is nothing worse (bye bye, Pizza Hut™ Sponsorship)! And I am so glad that I am not in the Anderson household right now because I’m sure they are rolling their eyes hard at my mutant chicken breast that cannot be anywhere close to what nature intended. And also, I don’t like it when Fred starts talking about corporate freezer camps and the horrible living conditions, blahblahblah. And another thing, while I’m shit-talking on Fred…he gets all superior about his ethical fucking food. I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want…I just wanna eat. And I don’t want to eat what I was just looking in the eye, okay?

Crockpot Apricot Chicken

This is me using Rick’s huge knife to cut that huge fucking piece of chicken because HOLY BIG BREASTS, BATMAN!

Crockpot Apricot Chicken

I had to really hack at those breasts to make them fit into my crockpot.  Don’t think about that sentence too hard because I did and UGH.

Crockpot Apricot Chicken

I was mixing all of the stuff up when I had a brilliant idea. BRILLIANT!

Crockpot Apricot Chicken

I had a jar of preserves made by our own Robyn Anderson on her Crooked Acres Farm. Raspberry Habanero. I used a ½ cup apricot preserves and a ½ cup of the Raspberry Habanero. In my own mind (which I already told you was brilliant) I figured it would be sweet with a little bit of heat. HOW GOOD WOULD THAT BE? PRETTY DAMN GOOD!

Crockpot Apricot Chicken

Action Shot!

Crockpot Apricot Chicken

We interrupt this program to show you my latest Polish Pottery find. Yeah, I’m going there. It’s PRETTY. This also shows you how I face most tasks. Iced Tea and coffee. Also known as CAFFEINE MEETS CAFFEINE.

Crockpot Apricot Chicken

The crockpot o’ chicken is on and since I have a minute I decide to bake some brownies. I was all, “HOME-COOKIN’, FTW!” And this is when I realized what week in my good cooking/bad cooking rotation I was in. SHIT.

I was already sifting through my mental index of take-out restaurants because I just knew the chicken was going to blow. I mean, really. Once you fuck up brownies you know there is no turning back. We were screwed.

Things turned out so bad for me that I don’t even have a picture to show you. I can tell you one thing.  Regan came over, pulled an ugly face and actually had the audacity to tell me, “That even smells BAD!” The chicken went straight to the garbage can and I didn’t even think to try and take a picture of it.

Tomorrow’s another day. And it’s also another week. Thank God!

Crockpot Apricot Chicken - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Entree
Cuisine: Norwegian
Serves: 6
  • 6 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breasts (don't thaw them)
  • 1 pkg dry onion soup mix
  • ½ c. Russian or French salad dressing
  • 1 c. apricot preserves or jam
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or basil
  • ⅛ tsp pepper
  1. In 3-4 quart slow cooker, place frozen chicken breasts.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and pour over chicken. Stir to coat chicken evenly.
  3. Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  4. To thicken the leftover sauce before serving, combine 2 T cornstarch with 3 T water until smooth. Stir into the sauce in the crock pot, turn the crock pot on high and cook for 10 - 15 minutes until sauce is thickened.
  5. Serve with hot cooked rice, pasta, or couuuuuuuuscous.


Sweet Baby Ray’s Crockpot Chicken – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Sweet Baby Ray’s Crockpot Chicken. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  The original recipe can be found over at Just a Pinch.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice. I’ll be interested what prompted this choice, because I have my suspicions. What suspicions, you ask? Well. I think Nance was like “This recipe looks really simple and it will make Amanda’s head blow clean off her shoulders at the idea that we’re referring to this as a recipe.”

That’s right – I think Nance is Amanda-baiting. Which, don’t get me wrong – I’m ALL for Amanda-baiting. I bet Amanda’s nostrils are flaring in anticipation of how much this is NOT a recipe and doesn’t meet her high standards. I bet Amanda wears a headband and cardigans and has her hair straightened to within an inch of its life. Amanda’s hair wouldn’t dare stray out of place for one instant or she’d just pluck the offending hair right out of her head. Amanda, I think I’m saying, has stringent and rigid standards regarding what is and is not a recipe.

ANYway. (I bet Amanda hates it when I say “ANYway.”)(Also probably not a fan of parentheses.)

Your ingredients (“Not MY ingredients,” Amanda is saying.)


Chicken breasts, white vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. Also, a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce. Fred was in charge of buying the Sweet Baby Ray’s (I had kittens to cuddle), and he reported that there was nothing that was JUST plain regular barbecue sauce, they had 30 different variations, so he bought the one that looked the best to him, the Sweet ‘n Spicy (Amanda: “Grrr! Sweet AND Spicy. AND.”)

Those chickens breasts are store-bought. After the last time we used our home-grown chicken in a recipe and then didn’t like it, Fred declared that from then on out if we were making a recipe for the first time and weren’t sure if we’d like it, we’d use store-bought because it is a mortal sin to use home-grown chicken for meals that we end up not liking. He’s so bossy and forceful, that Fred.

The recipe calls for 4 – 6 chicken breasts, but store-bought chicken breasts are so damn big that I’m not sure 6 of them would have fit in the crockpot, for the love of Sweet Baby Jesus (see what I did there?)

Okay, put your chicken breasts in the crockpot.


Mix all the other ingredients together. I used a big measuring cup so that pouring it over the chicken breasts would be easier.


I had to get a little violent because my garlic powder was all clumped together in one big, uh, CLUMP. I suspect that bottle of garlic powder is about as old as I am. Yes, I know you’re supposed to replace your herbs and spices regularly. I don’t give a shit. You’re also not supposed to keep them over the stove where they’re subjected to heat. What, I don’t spend enough time pampering cats, dogs, and chickens, I need to pamper my goddamn spices, too? Fuck that.

“The Prince will have a light snack after his nap and before his massage. Also, be sure that the masseuse isn’t all chatty. The Prince hates it when they’re chatty. Just rub the toes and shut UP, you know?”

(Sorry about that watermark being all up in his face. I have a real problem with people stealing my pictures, using them without attribution, and then suggesting that I should be grateful for it. Oh, don’t get me STARTED. And that picture, I’m sorry – SO FREAKIN’ CUTE. I was half tempted to plaster the watermark across his damn forehead.)

Dump the barbecue sauce, etc over your chicken breasts.


Cook it on low, 4 – 6 hours. When given a range like that I usually split the difference (5 hours), but I was a little late in getting it all in the crockpot, so it only cooked for 4 hours.

This is what it looked like right before I put the lid on the crockpot. It looked pretty much the same after 4 hours.


And this is after I removed the chicken breasts from the liquid.


I was going to slice the chicken breast and ARRANGE it and take an artsy-fartsy picture, but the chicken pretty much shredded as I cut it, so you get this.


The verdict? Meh. Totally meh. Like, meh minus. The chicken was dry, and just… meh. Fred felt the same. I wouldn’t waste any home-grown chicken on this recipe. The sauce was good and might be better on something else, but I won’t make this recipe again. Life’s too short for meh chicken.


Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out this page (there’s also a link to that page up there under the banner) and follow the instructions to submit a recipe!


Nance’s Take:

I’m from Pennsylvania and there’s no way in hell I would try to make my own barbecue sauce. People in the south know their shit when it comes to barbecue and this yankee prefers to just enjoy the good stuff when I visit. But I do use barbecue sauce in a bottle sometimes.  I stick with Sweet Baby Ray’s or KC Masterpiece. I do not like Kraft’s Barbecue Sauce because it tastes like the stuff I threw up that one time I was mixing tequila with beer.  In the same glass.  Glass after glass after glass…

Everybody’s different and I’m not going to judge (this time), but I have been known to pitch a hiss if the husband brings home that cheap Kraft Barbecue shit just because I forgot to specify a brand on the grocery list. Goodbye, Kraft Sponsorship! Heh.

I picked this recipe because a) I recognized the name b) it looked easy and c) it was made in a crockpot. There are days when I can’t be bothered to stop what I’m doing to make dinner. Especially if I fell down a rabbit hole of trying to figure out if Amanda Bynes is crazy or just has a vicious drug problem.

A crockpot meal is the perfect solution for, ahem, busy people like me.

Sweet Baby Ray's Crockpot Chicken

I just realized that this picture makes it look like I don’t know how to spell the word chicken. I do. When I’m packing up a butt-load of chicken (we buy in bulk because I’ll be goddamned if I’m gonna chop the head off a live one!) I sometimes get lazy about my penmanship. These chicken breasts have been cut into smaller sizes because we’re controlling portions.   Some of us eat the leftovers for lunch the next day so it all works out.  I just told you that in case you were dividing the chicken by the number of people in this house and were getting confused.  You’re welcome.

Sweet Baby Ray's Crockpot Chicken

Crybaby Felina didn’t want to be up on the counter with the Barbecue Sauce.

Sweet Baby Ray's Crockpot Chicken

Here she is walking away from the situation because I had a dilema and she was over it.  I didn’t know the amount of barbecue sauce I should use since my bottle said 50% more free. I couldn’t decide if I should only use half of the bottle or just dump the whole thing in there and hope for the best. This recipe would have been more helpful if it had included what size bottle for chrissakes.

Sweet Baby Ray's Crockpot Chicken

Of course Sadie Mae was all about posing for DCEP because she’s the good one. If you look real close, you can see where I had her toenails (front paws only) painted a lovely shade of metallic blue. She drags the top of her feet across the cement on our porch when she walks (arthritis/old age) and it just plum ruined her manicure.  The look on her face tells me that she doesn’t care.  At all.

Sweet Baby Ray's Crockpot Chicken

Remember when Pizza Hut was just new and they had glass shaker bottles of this stuff on their tables? I would sprinkle it all over my pizza and it was fabulous. Now? I don’t eat Pizza Hut because…barf. Bye, bye Pizza Hut Sponsorship!  Truth Game:  When I left home to live in Washington, DC at the grand old age of 18, Shirley stole a shaker while we ate at Pizza Hut so I would have one in my new apartment.  Shirley.  STOLE.

Robyn’s probably getting ready to kill me by now.  Trash talking possible sponsors and sharing my mother’s criminal past.  Whee!

Sweet Baby Ray's Crockpot Chicken

This is what everything looked like when I threw it all into a bowl. I know you’re impressed. I ended up using about 3/4 of the bottle since my brain gave up wondering what could possibly go wrong.  Who gives a shit?

Sweet Baby Ray's Crockpot Chicken

Action shot taken by Shirley (aka: mom). You can also see where I deviated from the recipe because I sprinkled pepper (not salt) on the chicken and sprayed the shit out of the crockpot with cooking spray.   Pro-tip:  Pepper the hell out of the sides of the crockpot so you look like an idiot.

Sweet Baby Ray's Crockpot Chicken

Another action shot because Shirley was all proud of herself.

Sweet Baby Ray's Crockpot Chicken

This is what I ended up with.  I will tell you where I screwed up – I fucked around so much that I ended up having to cook it on high for a bit in order to have it in time for dinner. Cooking that shit on high made it DRY. VERY, VERY DRY. Hard to believe when you see that picture up there, huh? Yup. I suppose you could lick it if you don’t want to deal with that whole dry thing.  But I’m pretty sure bending over and licking your chicken at the dinner table is frowned upon.

But here’s the very best part of all…

IT SUCKED! Blech. The recipe took a perfectly good barbecue sauce and turned it into a very poor imitation of that cheap-ass Kraft shit that I hate so much. No lie! The fuck with all that vinegar? Are you kidding me? Who wants to take a perfectly decent barbecue sauce and make it taste like swill? I was so freaking disappointed. This recipe needs to be flushed.  Immediately.

Sweet Baby Ray's Crockpot Chicken - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Entree
Cuisine: Croatian
Serves: 4-6
  • 4 - 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 bottle Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce
  • ¼ c. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ c. brown sugar
  1. Place chicken breasts in the bottom of crock pot.
  2. Mix barbecue sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder together. Pour over the chicken breasts.
  3. Place lid on the crockpot and cook on low for 4 - 6 hours*
  4. *Really, you don't want to cook the damn things for 6 hours. They'll be dust. Mine were too dry at 4 hours. I (Robyn) would actually go for 3 hours, then check to see if they're done. How do you check them? Slice into the middle of the chicken breast and check for pink. If there's pink, keep on cookin'. No pink? Ding! It's done! Then eat that chicken breast yourself, don't go serving it to someone else. What kind of animal are you? You ruined it! You gotta eat it yourself.